Megadeth Super Collider

MegadethSuper Collider
You just want it to stop: Megadeth's Dave Mustaine's constant and very public falling apart at the seams. The man is the biggest train wreck in metal, our collective hearts breaking over his most recent shenanigan. And the band — the tunes — well, for a number of albums now he's been in a strange zone where a record drops and we say, "Wow, that's actually not bad," then totally forget anything about the damn thing, except that it resolutely wasn't a "return to form" like the man had promised. Here, opener "Kingmaker" starts things off with a relentless enough, speedy gallop, sounding like something off of Countdown to Extinction (the excellent production recalls that release as well), which may not be the form most were hoping this long-suffering band would return to, although that mix of radio rock smarts and streamlined mature thrash is a winner. So, it starts strong enough, but then track two comes along and right when the band need to drop a heavy thrasher, they plop down a textured radio rock tune that absolutely not one person on the face of the planet will enjoy. (Mustaine's vocals do not jive with music like that.) And it's the title track. From there, mid-tempo rules, with Mustaine constantly trying to write something that's going to both keep his credibility intact (um...) and be a radio hit, when both are impossibilities at this point. See "Off the Edge" and marvel at how a song so catchy could also be so cold and unlovable — this is the frustration of modern Megadeth. "Forget to Remember" pulls off the mid-tempo Mega-dance, but barely, and at track nine, it's way too little too late. Look, I've long been a late-era Megadeth apologist, and while there's nothing abhorrent about this album, it's so unobtrusive that it's practically not there, just one more forgettable release from a guy we're all secretly rooting for. It's also way less heavy than the last few, which at least had that going for them (not that music has to be heavy to be good, but Megadeth pretty much do). And hearing him talking about "big brother" (sigh) while doing his spoken-word "spooky angry guy" vocals in the horrid "Dance in the Rain"? The whatever-that-is nothingness of "Beginning of Sorrow"? The unfocused mess that is "The Blackest Crow"? (And these are three songs in a row, totally killing the album's flow at the mid-point.) Yeah, you just want it to stop. But I'm still rooting for you, Dave, and always will be. Maybe next time. (Universal)